What to do in the first week of redundancy?
It’s the start of a New Year, and you find yourself out of work. Redundancy can be a tough emotional roller-coaster ride. It’s also a time when you have a great opportunity to reflect upon your future and adjust your career path.
So, if you aren’t one of those fortunate people that has a good financial reserve or instantly falls into a new job, what should you aim to achieve in the first week?
Here are my top seven tips…
First, take a hard look at your finances, especially cash flow. Assess how long you have before the money runs out. Managing debt and money is crucial. It is essential to know the boundaries and timeframes you need to meet and have a strategy to deal with them.
Second, update your job skills – for this you need third party help. So create a list of people you know and who can help you with reasonable impartiality. Ask them to help you identify your job skills and competencies. After these conversations, you’ll have a whole series of skills with worked examples show just how good are.
Third, get your CV professionally updated and use the list to create “Work Stories” which resonate around, “This was the challenge, that’s what I did, and this is what I achieved”. Describe this from the heart to illustrate your individuality and personality. Use these stories to reason why you want the job, within your covering letter and during interview. Keep them tight, concise and interesting.
Fourth, check these documents out with the people that you chose to help you. Ask them to read what you have prepared with a critical eye to polish and fine-tune.
Fifth, now you have your personal “Sales Kit”, start to evaluate what you want to do. Create your perfect job. Whilst it’s essential that you enjoy the work, it’s also crucial that there is a demand for what you are looking for. So be specific, but keep lots of options open and be prepared to have an open mind.
Sixth, search for opportunities. These tend to fall into three camps; Recruitment Agencies, Job Boards, and direct approaches. For the latter you need to try to identify a problem the business or organisation is experiencing and present a solution. Identify who you need to discuss this with and arrange to meet them.
Lastly, maintain dialogue with old colleagues and contacts. Start networking to keep people informed about what you are looking for and what you want to achieve. Be clear and concise, that way they can be advocates for you. Most people will naturally want to help you, your job is to tell them how and to be really clear about this.
These seven points will keep you busy and productive. Create a timeline for achieving these tasks as they are all part of an ongoing process. You are the “Boss” now, so part of the challenge is to manage both your productivity and your expectations, whilst maintaining an emotional even keel. Find a Mentor to work with to help keep you on track, on pace and to spark ideas with you. It is very easy to let things slip, become complacent and feel isolated – so work at it, don’t let that happen.
Personally I would avoid ‘next day’ meetings with potential employers and allow proper time to prepare and research the organisation and individual you are meeting. Meeting preparation is crucial, don’t try to busk it; as this is where you turn opportunity into reality and you only get one shot. If it’s an exploratory meeting, create a need for a follow up conversation at the end, so that you can keep dialogue going.
Set your sights high. Don’t aim for good, go for excellent. And finally, don’t ease up just because you have had a couple of interviews and you think you are going to get the job. Keep up the pressure on all fronts until the very day you start your new job.
Jonathan Wainwright enables organisations to create commercial success through digital marketing, traditional communications and team development and is author of Amazon e-book, “How to make your business HOT”!. Join him on Twitter, LinkedIn and visit his Blog.